Pro-Biden PAC Moving Ahead With Operations

Joe Biden, Vice President of USA

Image courtesy of Draft Biden 2016

Pro-Biden PAC Moving Ahead With Operations
| published September 25, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff

To quote Gene Wilder's famous line from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, “the suspense is terrible…I hope it’ll last.”

Vice-President Joe Biden is not yet a candidate for President. Nor has he indicated in recent interviews and television appearances that he is close to making a decision. But some of his recent meetings with staffers, Democratic fundraisers, and party heavyweights have fueled intense speculation that Biden may be only days or weeks away from making a decision.

The back and forth about a Biden candidacy has fueled a huge media discussion about whether the former Senator from Delaware intends to run in 2016, or not. Time is of the essence, as filing deadlines in some states will have to be met very soon. And for Biden to qualify to appear as a candidate in the upcoming televised CNN Democratic debate on October 13, Biden will have to make it official that he is running. In the meantime, the clock continues to tick, with predictable high drama surrounding the Vice-President’s every move and meeting.

Still, Biden will have to make the very personal decision to run (or not to run)…and he will likely make that decision soon.

One group of enthusiastic supporters is not waiting. The largest political action committee already in Biden’s camp—Draft Biden 2016—is pressing forward with plans to make sure Biden has field operations in place in numerous early primary and caucus states.

According to Josh Alcorn, a senior advisor to Draft Biden 2016, the PAC is screening and hiring staff to be in place and ready for action in at least 11 states. Though the organization is not sure how many people it will hire, it hopes a recent surge in fundraising will enable it to have solid multiple-employee operations in the five earliest key states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida, as well as several Super Tuesday states.

Biden has expressed an interest in running for President in 2016, but he has also been careful to remind people that he may not be ready for the emotional commitment of running for the highest office in the U.S. Biden lost his son to brain cancer earlier in the year, and coping with that loss may ultimately outweigh his political ambitions.

Political analysts have, however, been watching as Biden’s poll number continue to rise. In a recent poll conducted by Bloomberg earlier this week, Biden was in what is rapidly becoming a three-way tie for the Democrats, with Hillary Clinton in first place, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders essentially tied with Biden in a close second place. One fourth of all Democrats told Bloomberg that they would vote for Biden over Clinton. Sanders, too, is the first choice of 25% of all Democrats, meaning that Clinton no longer maintains support from a majority of those surveyed.

Biden also received a wink from the White House last month when spokesperson Josh Ernest indicated that President Obama had given Biden a nod of approval. Though it is unlikely that Obama would outright endorse Biden over Clinton, the media scuttlebutt was clear: the White House would not discourage Biden from challenging Clinton. Most Democratic analysts say the reason is simple: the President may believe that Biden would make a better steward of the Obama legacy than would Clinton.

The Draft Biden 2016 group has been gaining momentum in recent weeks in tandem with the sometimes feverish media chatter of a possible Biden run. The PAC has a sophisticated website with gifts and campaign material for sale, as well as a fundraising apparatus. Draft Biden 2016 is also securing the endorsements of key Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire, and expects to have more endorsements in other states as well. The group has received the signatures of some 250,000 supporters.

The drawback: like any other PAC, it cannot coordinate its activities with the candidate or his staff. That means that Draft Biden 2016 may be building a large political operation with no candidate, and if Biden eventually demurs, the effort will be for naught. Still, the group remains undaunted, and confident that Biden will make the decision to run soon.

In the meantime, Biden’s stock keeps rising. The only question remains when—not if—the Vice President will make a very public decision.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Biden’s Poll Numbers Get Another Boost; Thursday Review; September 23, 2015.

Why Biden’s Stock Keeps Rising; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; September 16, 2015.